“Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.
“Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind” (D&C 64:33–34)
Our focus for the last three months has been on how can we be better disciples of Jesus Christ.
More than ever before, our Heavenly Father needs missionaries and members with willing hearts and minds, with a desire to stand for right, share a testimony of the Savior through example, thoughts, deeds, and actions.
Missionaries come to the mission field with many varied backgrounds and talents. Indeed some are very well educated, some are great teachers and speakers, some have no fear of testifying boldly, some are extremely diligent and obedient with exactness.
The goal of every missionary should be the ability to follow through with their commitment of what they said they would do!
- Stand as valiant witnesses of Christ at all times, through all things, and in all places.
Missionaries dedicated to getting up early and do so everyday without fail, missionaries who don't depend on companions, district leaders, or anyone else to tell them how and when they should act. Missionaries committed to become -
"anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;" - D&C 58:27
(Photos from our missionary training meetings)
Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.
As committed disciples of our Heavenly Father our contribution to the work of salvation is much different than it was previously. In the past missionaries focuses primarily on finding, teaching and baptizing, and that was it.
As Elder Nelson so beautifully taught,
"Missionary work should begin and end with our minds focused on the blessings of the Holy Temple."
So missionary work today is much broader and more wonderful! Missionaries work with members, assisting in teaching and strengthening both members and investigators before and after baptism. We encourage member missionary work, working to retain new members and reactivate less-active members. We work to connect temple and family history work in all our teaching and strengthening.
As disciples of Christ we labor diligently to increase our ability to find and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ in a manner that brings those we teach to an understanding of Jesus Christ, through the witness of the Holy Ghost.
The missionary purpose is to "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."
As we understand more completely our missionary purpose found in Preach my Gospel, we understand that as missionaries today we work with and help all of Heavenly Father's children. All of Heavenly Father's children need to be invited to come unto Christ. All of them need faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His Atonement. We help them and teach them. All need repentance. We help them repent, and we also seek the blessings of the Atonement in our own lives.
Here are a few examples of missionary life . . . as missionaries act as -
"disciples of Jesus Christ" -
Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ . . .
"We had a surprising but powerful experience as we visited our investigators, a couple, as is common here in Honduras, living together as a family, but not yet married. When we first arrived, no one answered our greeting, but as we were starting to leave the husband opened the door looking astonished but welcomed us into the home. He explained it had been a difficult week with many personal trials and challenges. He explained they had been fighting over fears, suspicions, and he had been near to packing and leaving the family when he excused himself to a room and began to pour his heart out in prayer, begging God for help. At that exact moment we arrived. His wife soon joined us, and we shared our prepared message on the subject of Chastity, a sacred commandment with promised blessings. They have a great desire to know the truth, and we left them with a challenge to continue to pray, and hope that our message will provide some healing . . . "
(a glimpse into our most recent multi-zone conferences)
One of our Latin missionaries shares his testimony of the gift of tongues. He has been diligent in studying his English. They were teaching a North American investigator, and after practicing with his companion, was able to share the first vision in English and testify of the Prophet Joseph Smith in English, testifying of the Spirit which accompanied him and helped him with the language.
Many tender mercies occur through faith and through prayer - missionaries preparing for a baptism arrived at the church to find the door to the baptismal font locked and no key available. They prayed with all their might for a miracle that they could open the door, they tried the door knob and it was still locked. But soon discovered Heavenly Father has a sense of humor as he prompted them to reach across the font with a mop, and they could just barely turn the handle of the door and open it in a short period of time! Their prayers were answered and the baptism proceeded!
Missionary life is hard, but
. . . "as the days pass I love it more and more. The one thing that makes me love it the most is the people. I don't think I have ever met a more loving and kind people. Especially the people we teach. I have found a genuine love them. I'm still trying to get used to the heat and all the rain, but the teaching makes up for that!"
". . . a miracle has happened as we have focused on references, people literally have an unbeatable urge to give us references. One person literally ran down the street to follow us and give us three references, another investigator wanted us to visit her friends and relatives and gave us 6 references. It's gotten to the point that it's more difficult to find time to contact them all because we are receiving them so fast!
"We had a really spiritual experience that reminded me that the Lord is always preparing people for us and guiding us to people who are in need of our message . . . we were walking down the street when someone called out, "missionaries!" and a woman came running to us and told us she had been looking and looking for us. She originally was from another city where she had attended Church meetings with her husband, and after her husband was killed she moved to our area to be with family, but couldn't find the missionaries. We shared a message with her and her family who also are not members and the spirit was really strong, and they want us to return soon. I know if we always try our best and pray for the Spirit, the Lord will guide us."
Some weeks are just GREAT to be a missionary!
"This last week was absolutely great, one of those weeks that just makes me love going a missionary. Our investigator was baptized on Saturday and the whole family came to the baptism and then to church on Sunday for the confirmation. And the best part, our investigator was able to go to the temple already on Tuesday! We are so happy for them and this big step. Seeing the conversion process and the Spirit influencing people is one of the greatest experiences ever!"
And another . . .
"something I've learned is that the joy really comes when you can see people changing their lives for the better . . . not really the baptism, but the change that happens before they are baptized. Some might decide not to be baptized but they have changed their life to be better, and that's a huge thing . . .
". . . it was Sunday, and there were few in Church as the power had been out all night, but the faithful were there. It was testimony meeting and a young man arrived with a friend who we were teaching. As he listened to the testimonies he desired to share his testimony as well, he said, "Brothers and Sisters, it is good to be here. I am a young person who has experienced much sadness in my home with my family, (insert note** You call can't EVEN imagine what sadness means when they talk about sadness . . .** ) until one day these young missionaries arrived and my home and I felt something in my heart, something I can't explain, and they gave me a vision of how I could change though faith, repentance and baptism. I'm thankful you have permitted me to come forward and share my testimony that Jesus Christ lives and I can feel His love for me. I'm feeling something growing in my heart that gets bigger and bigger, and as I pray it grows even more. I can feel the truth in the gospel. I know I can change and be something more in my life . . ."
Family blessings . . .
Many many missionaries have shared experiences of their inactive, or part member families progressing in the gospel during their missionaries service, receiving temple blessings, being baptized, bringing family members into the gospel. Missionary work really is contagious . . . a great blessing for families!
Sometimes its just plain great to be a Mission President . . .
"I have enjoyed so much sharing the great news of the restored gospel, I hope to continue to share the gospel for the rest of my life. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of his children. I know that He loves us. I know that Jesus Christ lives, the Atonement is real. I have felt it's power in my life. Thank you so much . . . truly one of the most happy and spiritual moments of my whole life . . .
"Thank you President, thank you for accepting to be our mission president, thank you for studying before every meeting, and thank you for sharing your own personal spiritual experiences, and for receiving the guidance of the Holy Spirit to give hope and help us, and suggest ideas to help us overcome challenges. Thank you for helping us realize the difficulties really are only opportunities to increase our faith. Thank you for fasting to know what is the will of our Heavenly Father for me here in the mission. I have learned so many things, the difference between love and charity, how to recognize the difference between revelation and my thoughts, but the most important, I learned that God is my loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is my Savior, and for these two perfect persons, so full of love we have the restored gospel . . ."
"I would like to thank you and Hna. Klein for everything. These past two years have been an incredible experience, and in part that has been thank to you and your leadership, and the revelation that you received to send me to the areas that I had here in the mission. Thank you for your love and support, and for all the instruction and counsel given in conferences and interviews. I will always be praying for you and Hna. Klein, and for the mission in general, thanks for everything . . . "
As valiant consecrated missionaries we can say . . .
Behold, I am a Disciple of Jesus Christ . . .
I strive to live worthy of the Spirit through honorable service and obedience with exactness. I strive to have the Spirit daily to accompany me in my work in the mission field.
President Benson’s counsel is very clear: “Our preaching and our teaching must be by the power of the Holy Ghost. We must ever remember that in this glorious work, the most essential element is the Spirit” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988, p. 313.)
I am a witness that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. It is my deep conviction that He has called us to teach and testify in His name before the world.
I will not be weary in well doing . . .
“Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind” (D&C 64:33–34)